Are ex-armed robbers being murdered?

HARARE - Some former armed robbers who are now fully rehabilitated and re-socialised ex-inmates have developed into socially reintegrated, responsible and productive Zimbabwean citizens.

At Zimbabwe Prison Ministries, a programme run by Life and Liberty Churches International to re-integrate and re-socialise ex-inmates, we are favoured to have some of them occupying
high responsibility and decision making functions such as national coordinator and national projects officers, positions held by Pastor Mugandani and Majarira and Kambanje respectively. 

A number of these former armed robbers, who are now members of Zimbabwe Prison Ministries’ Ex-inmates Support Network (ZEISN), a programme of Zimbabwe Prison Ministries, are
claiming that they live in fear that they could be targeted for murder (culling) by certain “rogue” or “dirty” units within or in complicity with sections of law enforcement agencies.

These allegations, claims and related stories have been presented to me as executive chairman of Zimbabwe Prison Ministries during my interaction with ex-inmates since 2009 and have been corroborated, in confidence, by some uniformed security officers whose consciences have been unsettled by these killings over the years.

One of them, Barnabas Majarira, told me that the main reason he decided to come to join  our organisation was to protect himself from these alleged “ex-robbers”.

These reformed and re-socialised ex-armed robbers strongly suspect that these murders of ex-inmates, who originally were imprisoned for armed robbery, are either stage managed decoys as a cover up by rogue law enforcement agencies who would have colluded with released ex-armed robbers to commit serious crimes or part of a strategy to rid society of notorious criminals by “culling” them.

They also claim that while in prison they witnessed plain clothes law enforcement details go into prison to check on release dates of imprisoned armed robbers with a view to either coerce and collude with released armed robbers in committing further armed robberies then grabbing the whole loot from the offenders before fatally shooting them to get rid of evidence that might link the “rogue” law enforcement agencies to the crimes.

One uniformed security officer confided in me and corroborated these allegations and claims by telling me about three support unit officers who were imprisoned for a murder that they committed at a place called Chamboko.

They were allegedly taken to the scene of the crime for further investigations but it turned out the law enforcement agents who took them there had planned to murder them.

They were asked to turn their backs on the law enforcement agents and walk away but refused and insisted on walking backwards having realised that the law enforcement agents
intended to shoot them.

The same uniformed security officer confided in me about the alleged murder of ex-armed robber Raymond Maringosi and his friends who having been taken to “the crime scene” at Greendale cemetery and were shot by security  officers.

In our view as Zimbabwe Prison Ministries these alleged murders are too numerous and warrant a commission or parliamentary committee of inquiry made up persons who though committed to promoting a crime free society have a passion for the rights of prisoners and ex-prisoners and a commitment to ensuring that every Zimbabwean, including, prisoners and ex- prisoners are accorded their constitutional rights and impartial justice before courts.

We as Zimbabwe Prison Ministries have identified ex-inmates and some security officers throughout the country whose consciences are being troubled by these murders and are prepared to appear before such a commission to present evidence. Where there is reason to believe that these cardinal “deserts” are routinely violated with impunity by those entrusted with the stewardship of both the constitution and the criminal justice system then we will be compelled to expose the darkness.

Ephesians 5:11-13 in the Bible which is our service manifesto reads, “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible.”

Reformed, re-socialised and re-integrated ex-inmates have generated a digest of ex-armed-robber-ex-inmates who they claim and allege were gun-murdered by law enforcement agents in
collusion with or linked to law enforcement institutions especially, allegedly, the vehicle theft squad (VTS).

On this list are people like Arnold Kwarura who was ordered by law enforcement agents to lie down and was shot four times in front of many people yet mysteriously survived.

They draw attention to Chenjerai Mudzingwa, Canaan Madamombe and Tapuwa Chivhunga who after being shot in the abdomen and upper limbs survived and were acquitted of the crimes they were accused of.

They list Munyaradzi Katsande and Tafadzwa Chidzambwa who they allege were taken from Southerton Police cells and killed in July 2010 and Shephered Mhizha who was arrested and
detained in Bulawayo Central Police Station and was killed the following morning.

They also list Watson Chiputura whom they allege was arrested at NetOne Building in Harare and detained at Warren Park Police Station where he was murdered yet law enforcement
agents later alleged that he hanged himself while his hands were handcuffed.

Their list of murdered ex-inmates further include Brian Mungadzi and Tinashe Faku who they allege were shot in Harare by law enforcement agents with Tinashe dying on the spot and Brian Mungadzi surviving and still carries a bullet lodged in his head.

They further allege that though Brian was acquitted of the crimes he was accused of he is still imprisoned at Harare Remand Prison on trumped up pending cases.

Clearly these are strong allegations against law enforcement agents in Zimbabwe by reformed and re-socialised ex-prisoners and ex-armed robbers who may be seeking to hit back at a
system they may be unforgiving, angry and bitter at.

The fact that some uniformed security agents corroborate their allegations and the multiplicity of these alleged incidences however make these allegations strong enough to warrant
thorough investigations by a commission or parliamentary committee of inquiry in order to establish facts of these matters.

Documented murders of street children by law enforcement agents as a measure to control rising crime levels in countries such as Honduras and Colombia in South America raise the
very real possibility that a similar trend could be occurring in our own backyard.

  • Noah Pashapa PhD, Bishop of Life and Liberty Churches International and Executive Chairman of Zimbabwe Prison Ministries.

    Comments (4)

    Quickly reaching point of no return. ZANU PF not in control anymore.

    taps - 25 August 2014

    If this true, then ours is a dead nation. We in for a rude shock.

    Mambo - 25 August 2014

    Only when you are "visited" by these armed robbers, will you know how brutal they are. Kuvanzwira tsitsi? Uuuuummmmm!!!

    smoyo - 26 August 2014

    So Pashapa you are now singing for your supper again..... listening to the lies of these murderers to please your donors? Idya mari yevarungu unyerere and think about those people robbed and killed by these idiots. They deserve to die!!

    Gweme Rengozi - 26 August 2014

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